2 Employee Engagement Secrets You Never Knew

2 Employee Engagement Secrets You Never Knew
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Summary: People are your most important business driver. Get them thinking like your CEO. It may surprise you how it drives engagement.

Important Employee Engagement Secrets To Focus On

People are not your greatest asset; they're your most important business driver. Companies are spending money on employee engagement that may not always work. Instead, consider two things to focus on for improving company culture while growing the bottom line of your financial statement.

They're People, Not Assets

Many companies tout that "people are our greatest assets." But are they, really? I think people are too important to be defined as business assets. If you cut through the corporate gobbledygook, what many are trying to say is that if you value your employees and create a people-first culture, you'll be a better business.

People Drive Your Business

People are your most important business driver. Their happiness and engagement are paramount. They can ultimately determine the success of your business. Companies need loyal people who can innovate, affect sales, control expenses, and influence customers to be loyal to your brand. Generally, those people are recognized when they perform extremely well. And when they're acknowledged and rewarded through appropriate pay and recognition, a company's culture is healthy.

Ditch The Employee Engagement Strategy (Focus On These 2 Things Instead)

Companies are spending a lot of money on employee engagement that doesn't always work. Businesses must focus on the bottom line. After all, that's why they're in business. But all too often employees don't understand the operational aspects of their companies and how they make money. When considering employee engagement training, consider drawing their energy to what drives profitability. That is what will get them engaged. Here's how:

  1. Focus on the real company assets
    Assets are anything the company owns that has value: property, plants, and equipment, or intangibles, such as operating procedures, trade secrets, and intellectual property. Share the responsibility to protect company assets and ensure their efficient use. Take care to avoid loss, damage, destruction, theft, unauthorized or improper use, and waste. Remind employees that their pay and any bonuses they might receive are directly related to operating expenses and profitability. Presenting this perspective will shift team members’ attitudes to one of more accountability toward their tools, equipment, and supplies.
  2. Trust employees to affect sales and control operating expenses
    A healthy culture is about fostering trust. When managers and employees trust each other, they do the things they say they are going to do. They are approachable and friendly with one another. They even show support when team members make mistakes. Teaching employees how they can affect sales and help control expenses shows that you trust them. Then, aligning your words with your actions may be one of the best ways to create trust in the workplace. With trust comes engagement, and engagement adds to the bottom line. Teach them specific ways in which they personally can affect the bottom line and it will engage them. They'll like it!

A Story About Asset Management For Employee Engagement 

Parker, a fleet manager for a sales company, had grown tired of expensive vehicle repairs. He managed multiple vehicles and created expectations from the very beginning that his fleet would be well-maintained. But he often thought that employees who used these vehicles did not treat them well. He eventually decided the time had come to purchase a brand-new pool car.

He budgeted for the expense and received permission to acquire the new ride. After the purchase, he called a meeting with the crew. During the meeting, he discussed the purchase price, and how unexpected repair costs impacted cash flow and bottom line. He did it in a respectful and inclusive way. A company accountant drove the point home by reviewing past fleet maintenance bills. He concluded the meeting by reminding employees that their pay and any bonuses they receive were directly related to operating expenses and profitability. And he also noted that these cars were essential tools for his sales team's success.

Teaching Financial Terms Builds Trust Between Managers And Employees

Cherie, an accountant for a candy company wanted to train employees on how her family's 100-year-old business had prospered through four generations of succession planning. The small business supported dozens of families in a meaningful way and had given jobs to neighbors in its small community. She called a meeting to explain some basic accounting terms. "Having this knowledge is important to any business and its employees," she said.

Cherie, then, conducted a detailed discussion about the following basic financial terms:

  • Accounts payable: Expenses incurred but not yet paid
  • Accounts receivable: Sales provided but not yet collected
  • Asset: Something the company owns in order of liquidity
  • Balance sheet: Financial statement listing assets, liability, and equity
  • Inventory: Product of assets yet to be sold to customers
  • Liability: Debts yet to be paid
  • Cost of goods sold: Expenses relating to products that are sold
  • Depreciation: Loss of values over time
  • Gross margin: Gross profit divided by revenue
  • Gross profit: Profitability before overhead expenses
  • Net income: Revenue minus all expenses (profit)

Near the end of the meeting, the employees had a product knowledge demonstration. They learned that some of their customers had allergies to nuts and other dietary restrictions. It ended with a taste test of many of the delicious candies.

Beatrice, one of the company's newest employees, was impressed. "I learned at work today that I want to be a small business owner!" she later told her mom. She went on to tell her family how engaged and included she felt at work. One of her favorite parts about Cherie's meeting was the product knowledge and ingredients training that was included. "The candy taste test was my favorite," she said. "I can make honest recommendations to my customers."

People Are Engaged When They Help Make The Difference

People are your most important business driver. Get them thinking like your CEO. It may surprise you how it drives engagement.



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